WA Ghostwriter

New class will empower the women of tomorrow

Health+teacher+Melanie+Jozokos+and+English+teacher+Kyle+Kucaj.+The+two+heads+of+the+new+class+ready+to+empower+women
Health teacher Melanie Jozokos and English teacher Kyle Kucaj. The two heads of the new class ready to empower women

Health teacher Melanie Jozokos and English teacher Kyle Kucaj. The two heads of the new class ready to empower women

Athena Lewin

Athena Lewin

Health teacher Melanie Jozokos and English teacher Kyle Kucaj. The two heads of the new class ready to empower women

Athena Lewin, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






A month or two ago, Health and Child Development teacher Melanie Jozokos and English teacher Kyle Kucaj pitched the idea for a women’s empowerment class to Principal Jim Antonelli. With support from Antonelli and their respective curriculum coordinators, Brian Roark and Janet Keirstead, Jozokos and Kucaj received approval for the new class.

“Mr. Antonelli was also very supportive. We met with him and […] I think we got the name of the course out of our mouths and he was like ‘Great, let’s do it.’ So our curriculum coordinators and Mr. Antonelli were just so positive in helping us move it forward,” said Kucaj.

The idea for a women’s empowerment class first stemmed from Jozokos.

“It was something I think I’ve always wanted to do and I saw Mrs. Kucaj […] and I said ‘hey I have an idea. What do you think?’ and she loved it,” said Jozokos.

With two teachers from different backgrounds, Jozokos feels that this lecture-style class will be unlike any other at WA.

A minimum of fifty students are required for this elective to run, but they are hopeful that they can reach this number. The class is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors of all genders, not just female.

“Even though it’s a women’s empowerment class and women is in the name of the course, men are 50% of the population and they are allies [ …] we realize that we need to get everyone in on this conversation about ‘how do we empower women,’” said Kucaj.

The class will include connections to today such as being a female in high school, college, the country, and more, covered by Jozokos, with Kucaj handling building confidence, setting goals, and finding a voice and expressing it. Topics will include Women in History, The Role of Women in Society, Domestic Violence and Gender Equality/Equity. The course also involves personal goal-setting, confidence building techniques, and daily self-reflection.

Junior Ariella Fleischer has taken multiple of Mrs. Jozokos’s classes and is enthusiastic for the new class.

”I am so, so, SO excited for the course! […] I have heard so many wonderful things about Mrs.Kucaj […] I think Mrs.J and Mrs.Kucaj is like the ultimate dream team and I think it’s going to be so fun! I also think that it’s a really important course, especially in today’s day and age. I think it will be very informative, but taught in some really cool and innovative ways! I really am so excited for the course and hope that everybody at WA considers taking it!!” said Fleischer on Facebook Messenger.

A member of student council, junior Kathryne Lovell, has high hopes for the class and believes it could be a great class.

”I want to live in a world where everyone can do exactly what they set their mind to. To achieve this, all women need to feel empowered to be strong and all men need to feel empowered to be vulnerable […] the way to root out unfair prejudice and get equal opportunity, is education. Mrs. Kucaj and Jozokos are going to do a fantastic job educating WA students on gender equality and I am so happy for everyone who gets to explore that opportunity,” said Lovell on Facebook Messenger.

Jozokos describes how many of her male students have expressed concern that this will merely be a male-bashing class, but she and Kucaj believe that the male perspective and having allies is an important piece of empowering women.

With this, getting the male perspective may be easier said than done. Many young men are apprehensive about attending a class solely focused on empowering women, and others like freshman Joseph Nelson feel that the professions they plan to go into will not require knowledge about empowering women.

“I do think it’s important to understand the struggles of the people in the world and to be informed about it, like if you’re helping people in that area […] I probably wouldn’t work in that area,” Nelson said.

Freshman class president Micah Smith believes that a women’s empowerment class is not a good idea.

“Personally, I don’t think you should have this class, I think there are much better things to be taught, and […] at least if you’re going to have this class I think there should be a male empowerment one as well,” said Smith.

Despite Nelson’s and Smith’s opinions, some male students believe that it could be a helpful class. Among them was sophomore Garrett Jacobsmeier who believes it is a good idea but is unsure about taking the class.

Freshman Devannia Eracleo is excited about this new class, and regardless of whether or not she chooses to take the elective, she is proud to have a class like this at her school.

“I think it’s a great idea, honestly,[…] I know it’s a shocker to see girls in those trades, but it really shouldn’t, […] there should be no problem with girls working, they should do what they want and they shouldn’t have the restriction just because of their gender […] it sounds like such a good idea,” said Eracleo.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • New class will empower the women of tomorrow

    Top Stories

    The Class of 2018 poses for Prom

  • New class will empower the women of tomorrow

    Top Stories

    Everett scheduled to return next year

  • New class will empower the women of tomorrow

    Top Stories

    Young Boys’ Lacrosse players shine despite loss to Wayland

  • New class will empower the women of tomorrow

    Photos

    Photos: Apple Blossom Parade 2018

  • New class will empower the women of tomorrow

    Top Stories

    Frau Gillett says good-bye to WA

  • New class will empower the women of tomorrow

    Top Stories

    Boys’ Tennis swings its way to win against Bedford

  • New class will empower the women of tomorrow

    Top Stories

    Activist students reflect on equality, growth, and change

  • Photos

    Photos: Westford Academy Spring Concert for Bands

  • New class will empower the women of tomorrow

    Top Stories

    Photos: Spring Art Show

  • New class will empower the women of tomorrow

    Top Stories

    Chaffiotte and Sequeira win national silver medals for their artwork

The student news site of Westford Academy
New class will empower the women of tomorrow